Bruxism: Custom Vs. Over-the-Counter Mouth Guards

Teeth grinding or clenching your jaw is common for millions of Canadians. Professionally referred to as bruxism, this involuntary habit can be painful and destructive to teeth. Luckily, there are several mouth guards for bruxism on the market, all the way from the dentist chair to your local pharmacy. But which one is right for you?

What exactly is Bruxism?

Bruxism is fairly common, and some may not even be aware of their own grinding. Some Bruxism symptoms you may suffer from are:

  • Teeth grinding
  • Waking up with dull headaches
  • Jaw soreness
  • Facial pain
  • Fatigue from lack of sleep

Occasional teeth grinding may not cause any real concerns, but long-term, consistent Bruxism can lead to broken teeth, loss of tooth enamel, and in severe cases, loss of teeth.

The exact cause is unknown, but it’s believed that stress and anxiety play the biggest role. Other causes may also be alcohol use, cigarettes, caffeine, sleep apnea, snoring, an abnormal bite, and crooked teeth.

Night Guards

Most cases of Bruxism can easily be treated by wearing a night guard for teeth while you sleep. Night guards for teeth are also known as dental guards, mouth guards, nocturnal bite plates, or bite splints. They work by putting a barrier between your teeth.

When you clench your jaw, the night guard for teeth helps to lighten the tension and give cushion to the muscles in the jaw. This cushioning not only helps to prevent face and jaw pain but also protects the enamel of your teeth.

Night guards for teeth can be purchased over-the-counter without a prescription, as well as straight from the dentist or cost-effectively from a specialized online retailer. There are a few different ways they can be fitted, and the type that will work best for you depends on your individual needs.

Which Mouth Guard is Right for You?

Personalizing the fit of your night guard will depend on what brand you choose. Many of them use the same process that is used by snoring mouthpieces. Here are the different night guard fits for Bruxism:


There are over-the-counter mouthguards you can buy that will not be custom-fitted. These may work for the occasional teeth grinder and are probably the lowest-cost option.

Boil and Bite:

With this type, you just boil in water and bite into it to leave your own impression. It’s usually simple to do and seems to be the most common type out there.

Order online:

There are night guards you can order online. The company you order from has you send your impression to them and they mail back your fitted mouthpiece.

Made in lab:

You can get mouth guards right from your dentist. These offer the most accurate fit because they are made with your impression in a lab.

If you suspect you may suffer from Bruxism, don’t worry. It can easily be treated with night guards. However, it’s always good to see a doctor to see if you can discover the root cause and fix that before seeking other treatment. In some cases, sleep apnea can be a cause.

Need Help with Your Bruxism?

Dawson Dental Hanover has helped countless Hanover patients relieve their teeth grinding and clenching pain. Our specialists understand that not every mouth is the same and therefore the solution should fit you.

Call us today to book an appointment if you’re worried about nighttime teeth grinding and we’ll ensure you receive the attention your teeth deserve.